This paper investigates the relationship between neighborhood effects and pro-environmental behavior. Working on 1999–2012 data on separate waste collection in Italian provinces, a spatial econometric analysis is carried out. While a substantial stream of research focuses on recycling behavior determinants, spatial dependence among different inter-regional geographical areas has been less studied. Here, empirical support is provided to the existence of spatial effects and heterogeneous behavior in the Italian context. It is found that waste collecting habits tend to be strongly influenced by proximity effects, either in a positive or negative way. Moreover, the paper tests the nature of such influence in terms of time effects, by evaluating non-contemporary spatial dependence. “Good” (or “bad”) pro-environmental behavior as a persistent dynamic effect is found, with the possibility of both self-sustaining virtuous socio-spatial dynamics and perverse lock in. These results call for a rethinking of environmental policies, and in particular for a stronger focus upon the social dimension of spatial diffusion phenomena in pro-environmental behaviors.

Neighborhood effects and pro-environmental behavior: The case of Italian separate waste collection

P. Sacco
2016

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between neighborhood effects and pro-environmental behavior. Working on 1999–2012 data on separate waste collection in Italian provinces, a spatial econometric analysis is carried out. While a substantial stream of research focuses on recycling behavior determinants, spatial dependence among different inter-regional geographical areas has been less studied. Here, empirical support is provided to the existence of spatial effects and heterogeneous behavior in the Italian context. It is found that waste collecting habits tend to be strongly influenced by proximity effects, either in a positive or negative way. Moreover, the paper tests the nature of such influence in terms of time effects, by evaluating non-contemporary spatial dependence. “Good” (or “bad”) pro-environmental behavior as a persistent dynamic effect is found, with the possibility of both self-sustaining virtuous socio-spatial dynamics and perverse lock in. These results call for a rethinking of environmental policies, and in particular for a stronger focus upon the social dimension of spatial diffusion phenomena in pro-environmental behaviors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/313485
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